The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Bullying: See It, Stop It

February 1, 2011

Pastors offer youth advice on how to handle a bully

(Continued)

ENID — Biblical lessons

If children and parents are looking for Biblical references to help them out with bullying, Ratterman said he would first point them to the fact that Jesus didn’t flaunt his power and authority.

In fact, he said, a lot of the Bible speaks to the abuse of power and authority.

“Any time (bullying) is used against another person, there’s not much scripturally based that would be able to substantiate that kind of behavior,” Ratterman said.

Burleson turns to the part of the Bible where Jesus talks about “turning the other cheek” during a conflict.

“The same Jesus who said turn the other cheek took a whip (to) the Pharisees (who were bullies),” Burleson said.

“I would advise children to be gentle as doves, but wisdom calls for not gentleness for a bully, but with confrontation,” he said.

So what’s best?

The right way to deal with bullying probably depends on who you ask.

According to kidshealth. org, for younger kids, the best way to solve a bullying issue is to talk to a trusted adult. For teens, it depends on the situation.

If there is imminent physical danger and harm, the best thing to do is to always tell someone, according to the website. Another thing to do is to always make sure someone accompanies you to places, such as on the way home from school.

The website gives other tips, such as writing down your frustrations or exercising rather than physically venting your frustrations about a bully. Guidance counselors, teachers and friends are good people to talk to about the situation.

If you are going to confront a bully, you should first practice how you are going to respond, both verbally and non-verbally, according to kidshealth.org. The website recommends to never use any sort of physical behavior, whether it be kicking, hitting or pushing. If you are unable to easily walk away, one thing you can do is use humor of some sort to throw the bully off-guard.

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Bullying: See It, Stop It